The Vacancy of Leaving

Do they have a word for the vacancy you feel after leaving?

I dreamed that I was back in a familiar place, which was home to many people I loved. I was aware that I was back only for a visit, not to stay for long. We were having some sort of a party/happy gathering on an open, grassy space. It was daytime, but the sun wasn’t shining very brightly.

Then in the midst of it all, while the rest stood watch, I became (inadvertently) engaged in an emotional conversation with someone there. Apparently, I had asked a question that triggered a tearful expression of hardship, and in the face of such pain, I automatically switched from party mode to consoling mode.

At the height of our conversation, it suddenly started to rain. The gathering had to break up. Our conversation stopped, as we had to help usher everyone out of the rain.

After everyone’s settled in, the next thing I know, it was time for me to leave. I talked and kidded around for a brief time with two other people there, then proceeded to say Goodbye, have a nice night. I knew I wasn’t going to see any of them again. For some strange reason, I knew it was the last time I was going to visit that place.

I started towards the exit.

After several steps, I remembered I still had the key to one of the rooms in the place. So I headed back to the the two people I had just been talking with, told them, Sorry I forgot this was still with me, and handed them back the key. Once I did, I felt a sudden sadness. For the first time, I realized how cold and gloomy the afternoon had become from the rain showers.

I retraced my steps walking to the exit, but this time I felt such vacancy within me. I felt like I now lacked something.

Do they have a word for the vacancy you feel after leaving?

It’s an odd thing to feel, I think. If you’re the one leaving, you’re the one who’s vacating a space. Technically, it’s the place you left that should now have a vacancy. But why do you feel that vacancy in yourself?

Maybe it’s because even when you leave, you take the place with you. ♣

This entry is part of my undertaking a 30-day challenge Matt Cutts talked about at TED2011. The premise is to “think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days.” I am challenging myself to post one blog entry a day for 30 consecutive days.

Today is Day 2.

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4 thoughts on “The Vacancy of Leaving

  1. Maybe the dream was just to say that you have given all you could to a situation so you have given them the key to take personal responsibility and allow them the next step to now independently grow from this point.
    Your ‘vacancy’ within you may be that you also had a personal connection emotionally to the situation and you too now are being left to take your first step independently and grow from that experience.
    If there has been a strong emotional connection for both parties it will be a growing curve for all. The strength of that vacancy may be saying that it is really at an end, a completion for everyone in whatever way that it meant.
    Never an easy thing to face but necessary for growth 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I quite agree. The returning of the key did seem to be strongly symbolic, but it’s only through what you said that I’m coming to see how it could mean the start of a growth process for both parties. From my narrow view before, I only took it to symbolize a deep loss.

      Great insights, thank you for sharing them. Always interesting to read your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

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